13 Keys: The Foundation of Yesod
Article ID: 15171
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Robin Fennelly [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 2nd. 2012
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The previous article gave us the anchor of Malkuth and physical state of being, elevated towards our Higher Nature. As we rise on the planes of existence and subsequently rise on the Tree of Life, we follow the 32nd Path to arrive at the ninth sphere of Yesod.
The focus of these articles is not the Paths of the Tree, but some explanation of their energetic state and connective function from sphere to sphere is necessary. The 22 Paths that connect the Sephiroth act as conduits/ filters and refiners of the energies of the connecting spheres. The Spheres are the pure states of Being, and the Paths allow for the movement of energy between the pillars of Force and Form. On the evolved or “Middle” Path, they become the direct line that mirrors the adage “as above (Kether or the Divine) , so below” (Malkuth or Manifestation) .
For this series of articles, our inclusion of the Paths will be those of the Lightening Flash. Thus, the first Path of connection on ascending the tree is the 32nd Path connecting the spheres of Malkuth and Yesod. The 32nd Path is that which is travelled as we rise on the planes in ritual space to do the prescribed work. It is the corridor we walk as we enter our dream or deeper oracular state. And, it is the space of our astral Temple and our magickal persona. Its element is that of Earth and its planet of correspondence is Saturn, the great Gatekeeper of Time and Revolutionary Organizer. The Tarot card placed upon this Path is The World card.
If we consider the symbols and meaning of Tarot Key #21- The World, there is deeper insight into the energy that serves as gateway to the Astral and dream state of Yesod. The depiction of the Four Holy Creatures of the Fixed Cross (zodiacal signs of Taurus-Leo-Scorpio and Aquarius) and the evolved nature of their Being- The Winged Bull or ascended form of Earth; The Winged Lion- accessing our Higher Will/Fire; The Eagle- Water elevated to a place of all encompassing perspective and keen sight and the Winged or Perfected Man who is the breath of creation itself. These four elevated elements surround the central focus of the Fifth element; that of Spirit. This Spirit being that of the Divine feminine, naked and poised with grace and fluidity, encircled by the fertile and verdant ovum of time eternal. There is also the sense of constructive limitation placed around the central figure. It is housed in a container that allows for both filtering in and issuing out of the energy offered towards its highest expression.
So, too, this Path guards, guides and protects the energy offered upward from the denser realms; maintaining it in a steady stream much like the nature of the fixed modality. It offers the necessary amount of constriction to allow for the maximum amount of expansion (when primed and ready) towards the flexibility of mutable flow.
This is the manner in which we approach the sacred space of our making in moving upwards from our place of Malkuth and physical experience towards the storehouse of collected metaphor and vision that forms the foundation of our Yesod. The designated element of Yesod is Air. The movement up the 32nd Path and the enlivened beating of the wings of the Four Holy Creatures provide the current of flow that supports the emergence into the ethereal spaciousness of time and recollection (Yesod) .
“Our experience of anything is not the thing itself, but our reaction to IT” … William Gray (1.)
Keywords For the Sphere of Yesod.
The Energy of the Sphere
In Hebrew, the word Yesod means "foundation" and the "sod" portion alone means "mystery". This should give clue as to the energies of the qabalistic sphere of Yesod. It is the stuff of dreams, fantasies, memory and the dwelling place of the mysteries of true magick. This sphere holds the key to the unknown and the unknowable. Just as matter itself resides in Malkuth, the focus and energy that make it “living matter” is contained within the essence of Yesod. As we descend from the higher spheres and move through the varied energies of each of the preceding we come to rest in Yesod, the beginning phase of creation of a thoughtform, the storehouse of images only, without the benefit of the life energy needed before these images can move into a state of manifestation in Malkuth.
Yesod is known as the " Treasure House of Symbols". It is here that the Akashic records which contain the memory and experiences of every living being are held within the substance of aether (spirit) . This attribute alone can give rise to illusion, false conceptions and a deluded sense of Soul's purpose. It is a world of shadow and illusion, of being held in a state of "in-between". It is higher than the physical plane of Malkuth- yet lower than the Divine/spiritual plane, which would provide the necessary discernment to determine that which is illusion and that which is reality. By virtue of this state of mediator and filter the natural access to the Astral that is the function of Yesod provides also the necessary accumulation of symbols and images that can be classified, processed, filtered and assimilated to allow movement to the higher realms coming from the place of the concrete manifest energy of Malkuth. Yesod is the place of allegory and allusion to things of a higher nature. Because the information is often muddled or distorted (as in the fun house mirror) it becomes necessary to strengthen the emotion of Trust. Trusting that what is being shown is the truth, and trusting that you will be able to learn the appropriate lesson of the allegory.
Yesod is also known as Pure Intelligence. It stands as the receptacle of downpour from Hod, the sphere of mind- and having received thought devoid of censoring, testing and analysis, Yesod serves to provide those checks and balances, sorting and reshaping what will pass through the filter of unbiased judgment. It purifies and clarifies through initiatory energy and transforms what passes through either to make fit for the ascent to higher realms or the descent into physical matter.
Yesod is notably the sphere of the moon. And, just as the physical moon of our world goes through its tides and cyclical changes and has great effect on our physical earth, the principle is also true of the interaction between Yesod and Malkuth. The Moon was man’s first timekeeper and generated awareness of the seasons, the water's ebb and flow, evolution and change. It also gave light to the awareness of the cyclic nature of life and the natural surroundings. On the Tree, moving trough the energies of Yesod is to move in accord with the Cosmic Law of Rhythm (2.) This is the natural cyclic nature of all things and the evolution and transformation at the level of the Soul through those waters of higher life.
Yesod resonates to the sacral chakra and as such is the plane of sexuality and the potential underlying each act of coupling. It is the fertile breeding ground for all future spiritual development as you move upwards through the Tree. Its nature is that of fecundity and quickening. By definition, fecundity is:
1. The ability to produce offspring, especially in large numbers, and
2. The ability to produce many different and original ideas
This energy is beyond simply being fertile. In Malkuth we were simply matter. In Yesod we become matter quickened by greater substance and spirit. We become the replication of all parts of self, each having the ability for quickening and enlivening.
Yesod is the psychological equivalent of the subconscious and through dream work and cultivating a state of emotional health and well-being, its energies reveal the greater work of the astral and inner planes in preparation for rising on the planes and experiencing the energies of the Higher Realm spheres. This process of self-awareness is begun in the sphere of Yesod, and the shadow world of the Astral is the symbolic underworld of the subconscious. This is where work is done around personal phantoms and the shadow self is encountered, assimilated and recognized as the Illusory Self. The embracing and acceptance of this shadow or darker part of self is the necessary component for union of all parts of self and gaining mastery over this aspect gives strength to that part of the being that stands in the place of the light.
Yesod is the great initiator and to come to an understanding of its nature is to have progressed through an initiatory process of death and rebirth; moving from the mundane realm (Malkuth) and having passed through the shadows and mystery of the astral to heightened awareness. Through this process intuitive insight and a quickening of the Divine- life force within is the result of the synthesis of all the accumulated information gained from the symbols and images of the Yesodic plane. Yesod is the ninth sphere and it is interesting to note that in the Major Arcana of the Tarot the card attributed to the number 9 is The Hermit. The Hermit is the seeker on the path who turns within in search of the inner light. Within a place of mystery, darkness and seclusion, this withdrawal from the mundane needs of the physical (Malkuth) world allows him to gain the necessary insight to catalyze the quickening of the Higher Self. In numerology, the number 9 relates to death and rebirth, just at the gate of moving into a new state of being. And it is in this heightened state of awareness, revealing of inner light and true gnosis that we are made ready to ascend in return to the place of the Source of All - Kether.
" ...the philosophical principle concerned (with Yesod) is that the Moon is the reflector of the Sun. No one can look directly at the Sun without risking blindness, but the Moon can be seen clearly enough. Thus, it symbolizes a quality of Divine Mercy, in adapting the overpowering light of Truth into more diffuse and softer rays, which our Human natures can comfortably bear…. “William Gray (3.)
Location on the Tree: The Base of The Astral Triangle
Yesod sits at the base of the Astral/Lunar Triangle. On ascent of the Tree this is the first place of co-joined effort. The place where the dominion and energy of the Trinity of fire, breath and transformation (positive, negative and neutral) work in harmony as they rise upwards towards the higher vibration and energy contained within the upper spheres of emanation. On the descent from the place of Kether and its subsequent emanations, Yesod becomes the Divine receptacle that filters, refines, remolds and gives the finishing touches before the word, the thought and the creative urge become manifest. It is also the first sphere that connects the first set of outer paths of the Tree. It is the unifier and middle point of balance before the designation and split into the pillars of Mercy and Might- Force and Form. Additionally, Yesod is the Antapex point of the triangle before the descent into matter. Its position serves as a gateway separating our physical being before it is filtered through the Astral to emerge within the Higher Realms of understanding or Pure Intelligence.
The Yin/Yang of Malkuth and Yesod
There is continual exchange and balance emanating from the consciousness of Malkuth and pouring into the subconscious energy first encountered in Yesod on the ascending the Tree. This flow of effect continues moving through the unconscious state of Yesod, at its Higher spectrum just before moving into Hod. At a conscious level we live in Malkuth. Within the subconscious we find the answers in Yesod, which are transformed through the work of the unconscious into its refined state as Pure Intelligence.
In this way, as Kether’s creative outpour emanates through the spheres descending on the Tree, Yesod acts as an interface between gross matter and the realm of the unknowable for Divine communication. In Man’s (Malkuth) desire to know the source of its creation Yesod provides the foundational tools to Move man beyond the constraints of physical being towards the Divine Source having acquired the lessons of the Akashic records and experienced the Inner workings of the Astral Plane.
Yesod and The Path of Return
All of the energetic constructs of the spheres that are above this place on the Tree have become more refined in their qualities and the outpouring is directed downwards towards the intention of fruition in manifest physical form. That is not to say that each and every Divine thought or seed of creation becomes a manifest, tangible, living thing bound in corporeal form. The sphere of Yesod could be likened to the final sorting and filtering point that determines what remains held in the Divine realm (perhaps to be drawn down when more viability has been achieved) or moves closer towards becoming physical reality (its time and need are now) . The reminder is that everything we see comprising this physical (Malkuthian) world has had its seed of beginning in that (realms) which is intangible and has been born of the creative spark of inspiration and creativity.
The Briatic Color of Yesod: Violet
Each of the spheres is assigned four colors in accord with which of the Four Worlds that sphere’s energy is correlating to. In some readings you will find them identified by the nomenclature of a Royal Scale.
The King Scale, which correlates to the Divine World of Atziluth
The Queen Scale, which correlates to the Archangelic World of Briah
The Prince Scale, which correlates to the Angelic World of Yetzirah. This color is a combination of the King and Queen Scale colors of the sphere. In this way, you could think of Divinity (Atziluth) sending forth its Divine Messenger (Archangel of Briah) to command and guide the work to be done by the Angels (Yetzirah) that will extend into manifest creation (Assiah) .
The Princess Scale, which correlates to the Manifest World of Assiah. This color is the deepest hues and tones of the combination of the colors preceding it. This is also the densest form of those combined colors (often with flecks of light corresponding to the King or Queen scale colors) .
The Expression of Yesod in the Four Worlds
Atziluth- The World of Archetypes- Deity
King Scale: Indigo
The Supreme Lord of Life
Fertility Gods and Lunar Goddesses
Deity of Triple Aspect
In the sphere of Yesod, Atziluth is exemplified in the archetypical energy of those Deity who provide the fertile ground for inspiration, imagination and ultimately the catalyst for higher thought (at the level of Hod) . The goddesses of the Moon enhance the inner and intuitive sight and allow the flow of emotions in accord with the ebb and flow of the tides. The triple aspects of Maiden-Mother-Crone or Youth-Father-Sage show the ability for change and transition moving from one stage of being and level of experience to another- each dependent upon the other, however, to give the necessary clarity of the experience of the previous stage. Within the realm of Atziluth- the creative urge- life begets life through the Yesodian process of discernment, flow of increase and decrease and through the filter of the emanations from the other spheres on the Middle Pillar (through equilibrium) .
Briah – The Creation of a Concept- Archangelic
Queen Scale: Violet
Gabriel- Water- The Divine Messenger Bearing a Trumpet
Maintaining a sense of order based on truth and reality is the lesson of Briatic Yesod and its Archangel Gabriel is one of Pure Truth. The trumpet in earlier times was not of metal but was seen as a symbol of fertility- the horn of plenty- and was considered phallic in nature bearing the seed of potential. There is the allusion to sexual potency and virility around this concept and the place of being the Divine Messenger, then becomes the messenger of that which is yet to be realized, that which is yet to be born and made viable. The association with water is the reference to the waters of creation, the vehicle and conductor of the electrical spark or charge that animates and gives life to whatever is the receptacle of that energy. Gabriel is one of the four Archangels, each of who are assigned an element. Gabriel is guardian of the West and the waters that flow. Thus creating the association with the lunar tides and birthing waters.
Yetzirah- Forming the Image of the Concept- Astral/Angelic World
Prince Scale: Very Dark Purple
The Angels of Yesod are the Kerubim- The Strong
Just as Malkuth was the sphere of dominance in the manifest world of Assiah, Yesod is the preeminent sphere in the Yetziratic world. This is the place of designing the template or image for what will later become manifest reality. In this domain the Kerubim who are the angels associated with Strength, hold the required force and energy to move those from the inertia of idle dreaming to a place of higher thought (HOD) and finally manifest their creation (Malkuth) . In the ascent up the Tree the Kerubim use the catalytic energy of the Ischim - Souls of Fire- that have done the necessary work in Malkuth to ensure movement and bolster it with the energy of resolve towards completion. The recurring theme of strength within this sphere is the key to its greatest mystery, for the Kerubim are the formators of energy directed towards the goal of creation and manifestation of what has been created.
Assiah- Active/Material World- Manifestation
Princess Scale: Citrine, Flecked with Azure
The Moon, Levanah or Lunar Flame
What are the images that come to mind when you think of the moon, its energy and its cyclical nature? It is under the watchful eye of the moon that we sleep and enter the state of dreamtime and unconscious thought given form through our subconscious reality. It is also upon Malkuth (or Earth) that the radiance of the moon is apparent- shifting throughout its cycles- unseen- waxing full bright- and then waning back into the unseen. This is the compelling energy of Yesod in its place within the Assiac realm. This is the cycle of memory and imagery, moving through its place of unseen potential- waxing with enthusiasm towards climatic product and then returning once again to the place of transformed energy that has yet to be actualized.
The name "Levanah" is the phonetic form of the Hebrew word for moon and means - lunar beam-. It is the constancy of the Levanah (or lunar beam) that pours down upon those of manifest being that brings them to a state of rising on those beams towards a place of higher consciousness recalling the memory of their of their Divine nature.
The Spiritual Experience of Malkuth: Vision of the Machinery of the Universe
The Spiritual Experience reflects the highest vision stimulated from its energies. It is the place of positive action and greatest potential in holding these attributes as the inherent and natural workings of the dynamics of the spheres and their larger interaction upon each other in the flow of emanation from the Source of Kether.
The wheel of time turns and the cogs are maintained and well oiled to ensure there is no cessation to this mighty endeavor. These are the inner workings of all that exists (past-present and future) and are entwined within the memory and temple of creative flow. This is the foundation of our independent thought based on what we already know to be true at a manifest level, which is then filtered, modified, and adapted by the illusion of Yesod that prompts a closer look. Yesod acts to hold together the form. It is this action of enmeshing the denser particles of matter that creates the physical realm in accord with a principle of Quantum Physics and echoed in the theory of the Field.
The Illusion of the Sphere: Delusion
The Illusion of the Sphere is the polar opposite of its higher vision. It is the trap that is created when imbalance and excess of the particular sphere’s energy is directed towards self-interest. This is the shadow nature of the energy, which needs recognition and awareness of its nature, but non-engagement in its action.
We move through the world intent upon our course and create and construct truisms and beliefs that are often, when more closely examined, not of our creation at all. Yet we cling steadfastly and with strength and conviction to the declaration that these are indeed our truths. We choose to remain in a dream state because this absolves us from the consequences that our awakened choices may have. Spending some time cultivating the imagination is a pleasurable and rewarding pursuit, but allowing the illusion of what is merely imagination to replace or consume what is viable food for creative outpour is the folly of Yesod. To remain in the place of dreams is to be veiled forever.
When we become trapped in the desire and quest for accumulation of “things: we amass wealth but this wealth is built upon that which serves no Higher purpose. Conversely, there is also no need to live a life of austerity to reach the place of Spiritual enlightenment. Embracing all that the physical realms have to offer and tempering it with balance and using just what is needed- giving back that which is received in a way that is of benefit to all, as well as honoring your own needs (not wants) hold you in a place of Light where you can more fully remain open to the abundance of the Universe- without being consumed by the glamour of wanting that which is illusory at best and the heaviest of chains at worst.
The Magickal Image: “A Beautiful Naked Man, Very Strong”
Each of the spheres has attribution of an image assigned to its energy. The images that are evoked hold keys to the inner workings of the sphere’s dynamics and stimulate new pathways of connection for those who meditate upon the image presented. For the sphere of Yesod, one could think of Atlas in this imagery. The beauty lay in the seamless union of man and world. Yesod works to support the weight of the upper spheres of the Tree in much the same way. Everything, being dependent on this strength to allow what transpires in the heavenly worlds above to be held just beyond the actual grasp of mankind until he has proven his determination and effort towards reaching those lofty aims.
Personal Study: The Living Tree, Journaling and Meditative Focus
The suggestions in this section are meant to open your awareness and understanding of the particular sphere in ways that are physical in action and viable in result. This month, as we focus on the sphere of Yesod this set of exercises is intended to make you more aware of the impact of dreams, the imagination and discernment of what is reality and what is illusory in nature. When we move deeper into our own inner worlds and explore the many and varied forms that thought takes when fueled by the emotional and intuitive self we move closer towards mastery of making manifest the Divine beings we inherently are. Although imagination is usually easily stirred in most, refining and molding it into a useful tool takes practice and work. Similarly, being able to remember the pattern and content of our dreams and/or moving into a state of lucid dreaming is the key to unlocking the secrets of the subconscious and unconscious mind.
Opening to The Intuitive Self:
As you move through your day, take a few minutes in the morning, at lunchtime and before bed to check in with your inner self. Make note of your impressions of the day and the activities that filled it. What emotions became a recurrent theme throughout the day? Were they justified and based on the reality of the situation, or were they reactions, rather than responses to what was happening? For your morning check in, you may wish to write down any information you remember about a dream. Or you may wish to imagine your day moving smoothly and visualize yourself responding appropriately to whatever challenges or joys come in. At lunch, you may wish to assess how the reality of your morning and your imagined expectation were in support of or at odds with one another. Was this something you had control of? And, in the evening a scan of your day, how you moved through that day and what were high points and what you wish had been different is a useful tool for strengthening the ability of bringing into manifest reality the creative stuff of the imagination.
The Waking Dream Journal
Envision the abode of Yesod – the world of the astral, dreams and imagination.
Record the varied way in which dreams effect your waking time.
How has your imagination been a place of creative inspiration and when has it been the shadow dream of delusion and half-truths?
Now, rewrite your truths. Place them in a dream like scenario. When your story has been recreated, close your eyes and allow that vision to fill your inner screen. Holding the memory of the images, open your eyes and see the world anew with your realities of truth present and strong within your being. Carry that sense of your truth with you throughout the day.
Observing Your Inner World: A Reflection of Yourself
Place a small table in front of a mirror, large enough to capture your reflection (at minimal your face and upper shoulders) and any object placed on the table. Select an object you feel you are completely familiar with in detail and form and place it in on a table in front of you so its reflection and yours are both caught in the mirror.
Allow yourself to move into a meditative state and gaze gently at the object on the table for several minutes. Make mental note of what you observe about the object. It’s shape, color and density and how you would use it based on those observations. Now shift your gaze of vision towards the mirror reflection of the object. Note any changes, new detail, thoughts or perceptions you have about that object. How has the mirrored reflection changed what you thought to be true of this object?
Now, shift your focus to the image of yourself observing the object? Taking in as much detail as possible in what you are visually noting. What thoughts move through you as you study this image of yourself? Has your perception of the object you are looking at changed as you see it being observed by the reflection of yourself?
Additional Links and Resources:
The link below contains supplemental resources to enhance this series of articles. Included are Pathworkings, images and graphics, as well as other features.
1. Gray, William, The Ladder of Lights.
2. The Kybalion, http://www.kybalion.org/kybalion.asp?chapter=XI
3. Gray, William, The Ladder of Lights.
Copyright: Work is original content unless otherwise referenced.
All rights reserved.R.Fennelly.2012
Location: Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
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